Russia launches production of Su-35 fighter jets for Egypt

MOSCOW (GDC) – Russia has launched the production of its Su-35 fighter jets under a contract with Egypt learned GDC citing TASS news agency.

Despite the American opposition of the deal, Cairo has agreed with Russia to get 26 Sukhoi-35 fighter jets over several batches starting next year, according to the Russian magazine. The first two fighters of the Egyptian Air Force will receive this year, and fulfillment of contractual obligations is scheduled until 2023.

Meanwhile, the US State Department officially announced that Egypt’s purchase of Russian fighter jets would put Cairo at risk of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions, Reuters reported. At the Pentagon personally warned the commander of the Egyptian air force about the undesirable consequences of the transaction, says the publication.

Moreover, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs, Rene Clarke Cooper, said, “Egypt is aware of these risks,” at the recent Dubai Airshow.

The Wall Street Journal has revealed that US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have warned Egypt against buying Russian Su-35 fighter jets.

“The Gagarin Aircraft Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has launched the production of Su-35, intended to be delivered to the Egyptian Air Force under the contract signed in 2018,” the source said.

“The time frame for first batch’s delivery to the Egyptian side has not been set yet, due to restrictions imposed by the novel coronavirus outbreak,” he added.

Russia’s Kommersant daily reported in March 2019 that Egypt had decided to purchase 26 Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets for about $2 billion. The signing of the deal has never been confirmed by official sources.

Egypt will become the first country in the Middle East to receive first-class Russian combat aircraft, and the second foreign owner of Russian Su-35 fighters.

China has become the first foreign country to buy Su-35 when it signed a $2.5-billion deal with Russia for 24 aircraft. The deal also envisaged supplies of ground equipment and spare engines. The delivery of the aircraft to China was completed in 2019.

The Su-35S is a heavily upgraded generation 4++ maneuverable multipurpose fighter jet developed on the basis of Su-27 technologies. The fighter jet is a derivative of the Su-27 plane. The Su-35S weighs 19 tonnes, has a service ceiling of 20,000 meters, can develop a maximum speed of 2,500 km/h and has a crew of one pilot. The fighter jet’s armament includes a 30mm aircraft gun, up to 8 tonnes of the weapon payload (missiles and bombs of various types) on 12 underwing hardpoints. The Su-35S has been in service with the Russian Army since 2015.

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